Fall weather is perfect for spending quality time with your pet outdoors or cozied up on the couch. When temperatures cool off and leaves start changing colors, you and your pet may head out for longer walks or jogs around the neighborhood or along area trails. If you have children at home, you may suddenly find yourself surrounded by endless school supplies or holiday decor, as well. It’s important to know how these small seasonal changes can affect your pet.

In autumn, mushrooms make their way into your walking path, and ticks are still abundant and worth watching out for. Fall can also signal a change in activity level, and that means you may need to adjust your pet’s diet. You’ll want to start off the new season by scheduling a visit to your vet to stay up to date on vaccines and discuss dietary changes through the colder weather months.

You’ll also want to make sure to be careful about supplies, holiday decorations or any other seasonal items that make their way into your home during these fall months. While most are harmless, curious pets may be drawn toward small items that can cause major discomfort and even harm if ingested.

Here are a few basic fall health tips to help your pet have his happiest, healthiest season yet!

In autumn, mushrooms start springing up in yards and along trails everywhere. While most are harmless, some can be poisonous and harmful to your pet if ingested. Make sure to keep your pup leashed when you head out for walks, and watch his path carefully to steer him clear of any mushrooms or foreign vegetation that he may be drawn to. If you think he may have consumed a mushroom, contact your veterinarian immediately.

School Supplies & Holiday Decorations
Fall signals the start to the school year and the beginning of the holiday season. Your kids might be bringing home an abundance of tiny erasers, markers, shiny stickers and a variety of other school supplies. While most of these are non-toxic, some can be harmful if ingested. Try to store all school supplies out of paw’s reach, and keep your pet out of harms way. Holiday decorations are generally harmless, as well, but irregularly shaped decorations and other shiny or sharp decorative pieces can be dangerous if ingested. Just like with school supplies, store them out of reach at all times.

Diet & Exercise
If you and your pet step up your walks and running routine in the cooler weather months, it may be time to up their food intake. Different breeds need different dietary changes throughout the year, and the best way to know what’s right for your pet is to schedule a visit to his trusty vet. You can get his booster shots while you’re there and discuss upping or cutting back on his food intake while you’re at it.

Ticks & Snakes
We usually think of tick season as a summertime event, but in fall, ticks remain around in abundance. Keep your pet up to date on flea and tick medicine to help prevent bites or possible lyme disease. While you’re at it, be aware that snakes are preparing to hibernate and may be more prevalent and aggressive during this time of year. Be mindful of your path when you’re out walking or jogging, and keep your pup leashed at all times to help control his movements and keep him safe.